Anna Smith, January 2016, 416 pages, Quercus, ISBN: 184866432X
Reviewed by Amanda Gillies.
(Read more of Amanda's reviews for Euro Crime here.)
The long-awaited sixth book in Anna Smith’s fabulous series featuring feisty journalist Rosie Gilmour is with us, and it is every bit as fabulous as the previous books about her. Smith writes books that consume you. Her protagonist constantly finds herself up to her eyes in all sorts of trouble in her quest for the truth and takes you with her every step of the way. I love Rosie’s drive and ambition. I also love the way these books are written. They hold you captive and keep you guessing but are also a relatively quick read, so possible to whizz through in a couple of days – leaving you an exhausted heap by the time you have finished.
The novel opens with the gruesome scene of a prostitute with a dead punter at her feet. She has accidentally killed him in an erotic game that has gone terribly wrong and is left wondering what to do. She calls her friend, and fellow prostitute, for advice and the two of them are soon making their get-away; taking the punter’s mysterious briefcase with them. The contents of the briefcase turns out to be a pile of fake passports and a large number of rough diamonds. This discovery opens a whole can of worms and before too long there are threats being made on the girls’ lives by less than savoury men who want the case returned as soon as possible. Not knowing what to do, the girls turn to Rosie for help and she sets out to get to the bottom of the trouble.
As usual, Rosie doesn’t make things easy for herself and is looking into the apparent suicide of a young Pakistani bride at the same time as helping the prostitutes. What she finds out takes her to Pakistan, to rescue another young girl who suddenly disappears. What Rosie discovers shocks her to the core and soon she is once again running for her life. With diplomatic aid to help her escape, it seems as if Rosie might be safe this time, but you do start to wonder how long her luck will last.
One of the best things about Rosie is her sense of justice. Being a journalist, her purpose and passion is to seek out the perfect story. However, she also has an overpowering desire for fair-play and honesty. She keeps the police informed as much as she can and does her utmost to help those who ask her to. Only one thing is missing – TJ, her love. She misses him constantly and you, the reader, are also caught up in the loneliness she feels when she thinks about him. You have your fingers crossed that she will be reunited with her love but are not quite sure if she will ever see him again.
If you like a good plot that keeps you guessing and covers a current, controversial topic with sensitivity and tact, then you are going to love this book. It is not necessary to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one but it makes it much more interesting if you do.
Amanda Gillies, August 2016